How to remove mold from your home
At some point, most people encounter mold and mildew in their home, whether it's on the grout between the shower tiles or on the forgotten loaf of bread in the back of the cupboard. These common, relatively minor instances are easy to take care of and are generally harmless if dealt with quickly (and, in the case of shower mildew, regularly).
There are, however, instances of mold that can be hazardous to the health, and mold on walls, floors, counters, ceilings, doors and furniture requires special products and techniques for removal. Depending on the size and severity of mold issues, professional mold removal services may be necessary.
Black mold is perhaps the most common household mold, but what many people don't realize is that there are actually several different molds that appear black. Many of these molds are harmless, posing little health hazard except perhaps an increase in asthma or allergy symptoms, but two of these molds—Stachybotrys chartarum and Apergillus niger—are considered toxic molds and can have severe health effects. If you've discovered mold in your home, it is important that you know whether or not it is toxic before you attempt cleanup or removal.
There are two main ways to test whether or not your mold is toxic: You can send it to a company for laboratory testing, or you can test it yourself with a mold test kit.
You may also want to test your home's indoor air quality, as this can be affected by mold spores. Testing indoor air quality can also help detect unseen mold infestations, such as those under carpets or floorboards, behind ceiling panels or between walls.
Once you know what kind of mold you have and where, you can decide how best to get rid of it.
Do-It-Yourself Mold Removal
Regular black mold removal can be accomplished using a bleach-and-water solution. Even though this mold is not toxic, you should wear gloves and a mask during removal to protect yourself from the bleach as well as from the mold spores.
Keep in mind that when you remove mold, you may stir up spores that can travel to other areas of the house and begin another infestation. To prevent this, seal the area as best you can with plastic or tarps, which should then be carefully disposed of along with the sponge or cloth used for removal.
Professional Mold Remediation
Toxic mold removal or removal of very large infestations is best left to professional mold removal services. These can easily be found in the local phone book or via a quick Internet search. Just be sure to shop around for the best price and ask questions to ensure that the company you hire is knowledgeable. You may also want to ask for references or check online for reviews from previous customers.